ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard


Advanced search

.. Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (3 Junes) . . Page.. 1687..


Domestic Violence Agencies Act—Domestic Violence Agencies (Council) Appointment 2014—Disallowable Instrument DI2014-55 (LR, 8 May 2014).

Legal Profession Act—Legal Profession (Bar Council Fees) Determination 2014 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2014-57 (LR, 9 May 2014).

Public Place Names Act—Public Place Names (Beard) Determination 2014 (No 1)—Disallowable Instrument DI2014-60 (LR, 15 May 2014).

National Reconciliation Week

Ministerial statement

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (3.27), by leave: Madam Speaker, last week we recognised National Sorry Day and the start of Reconciliation Week with a range of activities culminating today. On Friday, 23 May 2014 we observed the National Sorry Day bridge walk across Commonwealth Avenue Bridge organised by Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service. The theme—"Sorry. Still living on borrowed time"—acknowledges that there is still a lot to be done to achieve justice for the stolen generation. However, it was a really positive event to see schools from across the ACT with their school banners leading the bridge walk. I felt confident we continue to move forward together with our younger generation.

In 1997 the Bringing them home report recommended that all Australian parliaments, police forces, churches and others officially acknowledge the responsibility of their predecessors for the laws, policies and practices of forcible removal and issue an apology in recognition of this responsibility. The Australian Capital Territory, led by the then Chief Minister Kate Carnell, formally apologised to members of the stolen generation on 17 June 1997. Each Australian state and territory government apologised in parliament to the stolen generations between 1997 and 2001.

Whilst the commonwealth government offered a motion of reconciliation in Parliament on 26 August 1999 which expressed "deep and sincere regret", this was not considered to be a true apology as it did not contain the word "sorry", a word with rich cultural meanings for Australia's first peoples. However, on 13 February 2008, as parliament returned from its summer break, the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd moved a motion of apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples in the House of Representatives, apologising for past laws, policies and practices that devastated Australia's first nations peoples, in particular members of the stolen generations.

Between 27 May and 3 June each year we celebrate National Reconciliation Week. The 2014 theme is, "Let's walk the talk". The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey: the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision, which was actually handed down on this day in 1992.

Reconciliation means different things to different people, but the goal should always be to build positive, respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians to achieve a sense of fairness and justice. It is a mixture of big things and little things. We can give an acknowledgement of country to


Next page . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search


If you have special accessibility requirements in accessing information on this website,
please contact the Assembly on (02) 6205 0439 or send an email toOLA@parliament.act.gov.au
Accessibility | Copyright and Disclaimer Notice | Privacy Policy
© Legislative Assembly for the ACT